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Humanities Institute Graduate Student Fellowships

The application deadline is January 14, 2019 at noon.


The Institute for the Humanities, founded in 1987, promotes interdisciplinary research and discourse in the humanities and the arts. The central function of the institute is to form an intellectual community of faculty and graduate student fellows who spend an academic year in residence in the institute, pursuing their research and participating in a cross-disciplinary, weekly seminar. We seek applicants working in humanities research areas who demonstrate capacity to contribute to and gain from interdisciplinary exchange through the fellows seminar.

The institute has a faculty director and small staff who manage its programming and facilitates research by the resident fellows.  To the core community formed by the faculty and graduate student fellows, we add several distinguished visiting fellows who typically join us for anywhere from one week to a full term.

Graduate Student Fellowship
The graduate student fellowship is ten months long (September 1 – June 30).  Graduate student fellows are provided with a shared, furnished office and desktop computer at the institute’s home in the Thayer Academic Building.  Graduate student fellows receive a stipend (anticipated to be $31,500 in 2019-20) paid over the ten months of the fellowship at the end of each month September through June.  The institute pays each fellow’s candidacy tuition and all required fees for the fall and winter terms and GradCare health insurance for the fellowship period.  Gradcare is provided for twelve months, if needed, September 1 through August 31.

If a fellow defends in the spring/summer term following their fellowship (2019), the institute will provide candidacy tuition for the defense and all fees except the registration fee (~$80).  If tuition is elected in order to defend in the spring/summer term and the fellow fails to successfully defend the institute reserves the right to rescind the tuition waiver with the financial responsibility falling to the fellow him/herself.

Selection of the graduate student fellows is determined by a committee of U-M faculty, chaired by the institute’s director.


1.    Graduate student fellows are required to be in residence at the institute for the academic year (September 1 – May 31)

2.    Graduate student fellows are required to attend the weekly two-hour fellows seminar on Wednesdays from 10:00 – 12:00 noon.


1.    Applicants must be University of Michigan students and have attained candidacy at the time of application or provide a letter from their department vouching for the fact that they will have successfully completed all of the requirements for candidacy prior to the start of the fellowship.

2.    Former or current holders of Rackham Predoctoral Fellowships are not eligible for Institute for the Humanities’ graduate student fellowships. Current applicants may apply for both awards. A student who is awarded both fellowships must choose one or the other by the respective deadline.

3.    Applicants with other fellowship obligations for the coming year, even for one term, are ineligible for consideration.


Application Process and Deadline

Applications must be submitted in their entirety through eGif by Monday, January 14, 2019, at noon.  Please note, the Chief Administrator (CA) of your primary department must “approve” the application in eGif.  This is not an approval of the actual application but rather a routing mechanism.  Please notify your CA to “approve” the application as quickly as possible, the deadline indicated above is the deadline by which the institute must receive the complete application.  You need to allow time before the deadline for the approval to take place in the system.

We anticipate selected applicants will be notified in early March, 2019.  We ask that fellowship awardees notify the institute of their acceptance of the fellowship within two weeks of receiving notification.

Selection Criteria

1.    Promise of dissertation project and strength of academic record

2.    Evidence of progress on the dissertation project, typically one or two chapters of the dissertation drafted and accepted or near acceptance at the time of application.

3.    Interest in interdisciplinary work, as shown by the dissertation project and the applicant’s breadth of academic experience.

4.    Humanities content of the project.

5.    Letters of support:
     a. One letter must be from the dissertation chair or one co-chair.
     b. One letter from a faculty member in a department or program other than the student’s home department (a letter of support from a faculty member holding a joint appointment that includes the home department is acceptable). The second letter may be from a dissertation co-chair if the faculty member's unit(s) is completely different from the co-chair in a (above). Letters may come from faculty at other universities.

6.    Please note: The selection committee seeks to achieve variety and balance of disciplines in selecting the fellows.

Overview of Application Process

  • The application is composed of 2 parts:

  • The deadline for receipt of applications and recommendations is January 14, 2019 at 12 noon.

Requirements/Instructions for Part 1: LSA E-GIF portion of application:

  1. Fellowship Application Cover Sheet (signed)

  2. Current Curriculum vitae (Previous education, all colleges and universities attended, including U-M, major field, years, degrees awarded and date of degree expected, major scholarships and fellowships you have previously held-award title, institution, and years, major academic recognition, honors, and memberships-include honor societies, professional papers and presentations)

  3. Dissertation description statement (1500 word limit with some attention to your methodology and to the significance of the project)

  4. Graduate education description (1000 word limit with particular reference to the breadth of your experience and interests, and why you think you would profit intellectually from your association with the Humanities Institute)

  5. Writing sample (6000 word limit, excluding footnotes & bibliographies. The writing sample is normally a chapter of the dissertation that is substantially polished. If providing musical or visual work samples , place them on a website and then provide a URL link as a file)

  6. Graduate transcripts (official or unofficial)

  7. Other attachments (use only to add proof of candidacy letter from department when it is not listed on transcript).

Use the following steps when applying via LSA E-GIF:

  • Click on “new funding proposal.”

  • In the “proposed title or purpose” field, enter “HI GRAD Fellowship-your name.” (Do not enter anything else here.)

  • In the “proposal overview” field, enter your dissertation title.

    Click "Fellowship."

  • Click on the “continue” button at the bottom of the page to move to next page.

  • On the next page, ensure only the “Humanities Institute Graduate Student Fellowship” button is clicked. Unclick other funding opportunities if they are clicked.

  • Click on the “continue” button at the bottom of the page to move to next page.

  • Upload all required attachments for the application process to continue.

  • Click “SAVE” then submit your application. You will receive an email acknowledging your application has been received.

  • Important: Immediately notify your unit administrator that you have submitted your LSA E-GIF application. Your unit administrator must acknowledge your application in the LSA E-GIF system in order for it to reach the Humanities Institute by January 14, 2019 at noon.

Requirements/Instructions for Part 2: Recommendation Form portion of application:

  1. Two recommendations are required.

  2. One recommendation must be from your dissertation chair/co-chair.

  3. The second recommendation must be from a faculty member in another department or program other than the student’s home department. A recommendation from a faculty member holding a joint appointment that includes the student’s home department is allowed. The second letter may be from a dissertation co-chair if the faculty member's unit(s) is completely different from the co-chair in 2 (above). Letters may also come from faculty at other universities.

Use the following steps for the recommendation portion of application:

  • Make 2 copies of the blank recommendation form.

  • Fill out and sign the top portion of each recommendation form.

  • Send a filled-out recommendation form to each recommender along with a copy of your dissertation statement and a copy of your graduate education statement.

  • Recommenders should fill out and sign the bottom portion of the recommendation form, then email the recommendation form and the letter of recommendation to by January 14, 2019 at noon.

  • Important: Be sure to remind your recommenders that the recommendation form needs to be signed by them, as well as you.